Monday, November 16, 2009

And then, there was Skype!

I was hoping to catch up with a friend who works for the NC State Information Technology Systems branch. While first attempting to reach him after a leave of absence of 2 years, his work number had been disconnected. ???????????

After finally reaching him today, he announced that they had switched from Centrex to IP phones. This is what helped me choose to present Skype as my first Web 2.0 tool.

It is the every-day, consumer means of implementing IP phones at home. This is not to be confused with Vonage service or TWC's so called digital phone where the digital signal is converted/downgraded to accommodate the phone wiring already present in most homes still today.

Unlike those services, Skype is strictly VoIP. There is no old telephone wire carrying any kind of signal. You connect your VoIP device directly to your computer.

I love Skype. I can call any toll free number free of charge without any subscription. I can call Canada for a ridiculous fee. If I choose a monthly subscription, I can make as many calls as I want, as long as I want, for no additional cost. You can configure your own number to display. There are simply too many cool features to list. It does most everything a cell phone does and more. For example, you can do video conferencing. We once used it to bring in a professor to the residency for class lectures.

For the tech-savvy home-owner, this is a really great way to get very affordable phone service with all sorts of bells and whistles, without paying a conglomerate!

If you haven't tried it yet, here's the link to the features:

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